The Sixth Estate
Friday, July 30, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it. - John F. Kennedy

SONG OF THE DAY : The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar

LINK OF THE DAY : Funny Bush and Kerry Cartoon.

The man's undone forever; for if Hector break not his
neck i' the combat, he'll break't himself in

6.5/10 STARS

Boy band gone wrong?
Boy band rejects? Nope, International Rescue.

Thunderbirds are GO! Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley star in Jonathan Frakes' update of the classic 1960's Supermarionation TV series. Jeff Tracy (Paxton) is a billionaire, retired astronaut and the leader of International Rescue. From their secret island in the south Pacific, Tracy and his four sons are ready to respond to disasters anywhere in the world at any time, thanks to their incredible vehicles - The Thunderbirds! Straight off their latest mission, the Tracy's head home for some well needed rest. Joining them is the fifth Tracy son, Alan (Brady Corbet). As the youngest Tracy, he's constantly living in the shadow of his father and older brothers. He only wants to help out, but his father refuses to let him participate until he finishes school.

We're soon introduced to all the characters at International Rescue. Brains (Anthony Edwards) the resident genius and social reject. His son Fermat (Soren Fulton), seemingly a clone of his father. The groundskeeper, his wife and daughter Tintin. And of course no Thunderbirds movie would be complete without Lady Penelope (Sophia Myles) and her faithful chauffeur Parker (Ron Cook). All is not as peaceful as it seems though. A mysterious submarine, captained by telekinetic genius The Hood (Ben Kingsley) and his band of British cronies, has been spying on International Rescue, and they've discovered the location of their secret island. The Hood wastes little time putting his sinister plan into action. Using a missile to cripple Thunderbird 5, he forces the Tracy clan to embark on an ill-fated rescue attempt to the space station. Seizing control of the island in their absence, The Hood ends up stranding the members of International Rescue on the damaged Thunderbird 5. It's now up to Alan Tracy, Fermat and Tintin to rescue the rescuers, with a little help from Brains and Lady Penelope.

The film is good for what it is - a kids movie. Taking a page from Spy Kids, Thunderbirds is yet another outing in the kids-with-cool-gadgets genre. That being said, I had a good time with the film. As a fan of the original series I would have rather seen more of a focus on the adults. I didn't find the three main characters (the kids) to be very interesting characters. However because it's a kids film, it works. All of the kids in attendance seemed to love it. Though most of those kids probably enjoyed Scooby-Doo, so maybe that's not saying much. The cast was good for the most part. Bill Paxton did what he could with a relatively small part as the Tracy family patriarch, but some of his lines seemed a bit forced. Ben Kingsley was very good, as would be expected. He elevates The Hood from cartoonish super-villain, to real life megalomaniac. The gorgeous Sophia Myles is very good as Lady Penelope, and Ron Cook is hilarious as Parker. Myles and Cook steal the show. As for the child actors, they could have been better, no real standout performances from them.

The whole film is an homage to the original series. Numerous in-jokes and allusions to puppets are made through out the film. It also looks very good. It has that colourful not-to-distant future feel, and it really works with this movie. The CGI was amazing. The Thunderbirds all look very impressive, but at the same time realistic. I was glad to see that they stayed true to the original design of the vehicles, rather than reimagining them like most new movies would. From a technical standpoint, it's a very slick film.

Is Thunderbirds worth seeing if you don't have kids? Only if you're a fan of the original series. If you are a fan of the original series you might be disappointed because of the adolescent focus of the film, but everything you loved about the TV series is still there. If you have kids, then this is definitely one to take them to. Thunderbirds has all the flare of the classic series, mixed with some Spy Kids-esque scenarios. The film is meant to be a 'fun-for-all-ages' kind of film, and it succeeds at that.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams

SONG OF THE DAY : The Hives - No Pun Intended

LINK OF THE DAY : New THX1138 Trailer. Brilliant.

I have tremor cordis on me: my heart dances;
But not for joy; not joy. This entertainment
May a free face put on, derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent; 't may, I grant;
But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,
As now they are.

It actually happened... I've now been blogging for one year straight. So much has changed in that time. I'm a completely different person, and I've experienced so much since July 29th 2003.

It's very cool to look back. Even though it's only been a year, I can see a visible change in my thinking and writing. Very humbling actually.

Some highlights of the past year for me, blogwise have been.

My relationship and subsequent break up with she who shall remain nameless. Something that has been stricken from the record of this blog... though I did keep a copy.

Covering the 2003 Toronto Film Fest, both the experience and the reviews.

Blogging during my Euro Trip, and being able to share it with everyone back home and abroad.

Posting inane and strange tangents that my mind goes off on.

Sharing all the crazy videos, news stories and trailers that I your humble narrator have stumbled upon in my web travels.

Arguing about the stupidest things with people that I've never personally met.

And most recently reviewing movies on a regular basis for Expect to see Thunderbirds and Collateral reviews in the subsequent days.

It can only get better from here. Expect in depth 2004 Toronto Film Fest coverage. As well more personally qualms and problems will be discussed, I guarantee. Hopefully I'll be able to blog my next big trip as well... in the interim Las Vegas will have to suffice.

To anyone and everyone who has ever read the page, thanks for reading. Although blogs are meant to be a personal thing for the most part, it's always nice to get feedback, positive and negative. *Glares at Robotman*

So until next time, keep watching the skiis... I mean skies.

- Will
Thursday, July 22, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : The secret to film is that it's an illusion. -George Lucas

SONG OF THE DAY : Radiohead - Paranoid Android


Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

2/10 STARS
By Will Perkins

Can Halle Berry in skin tight leather save Catwoman? No, nothing can.

In "Catwoman", Halle Berry stars as Patience Phillips, a shy and reserved artist working as a graphic designer for the behemoth cosmetics company Hedare. Patience is a meek woman, who seems to always be apologizing to people for her own existence. Her mundane life is in for a change the day she spots a mysterious cat outside her apartment window. Seeing that the cat is stranded, she climbs out onto the ledge to rescue it, instead she herself becomes stranded. Enter Tom Lone(Benjamin Bratt) a clean-cut Police Detective. Thinking Patience is suicidal and about to jump he begins trying to talk her down from the ledge and ends up rescuing her just as she's about to fall. Being the fine upstanding Police Officer he is, Tom is compelled to ask Patience out for coffee. She's unsure at first, but spurred on by her man-starved friend Sally(Alex Borstein), she accepts his offer. Patience is a busy woman though, George Hedare(Lambert Wilson) has put Patience in charge of the ad campaign for Beau-Line, Hedare's breakthrough anti-aging product. George Hedare is not an easy man to work for though, he and his aging supermodel wife Laurel (Sharon Stone) are constantly fighting, and this does not improve his mood towards his employees. Unsatisfied with her previous design for the ad campaign he gives Patience until midnight to come up with a new one or be fired. She manages to come up with a new design, but on her way to delivering it to her boss she overhears a conversation between Laurel and Hedare's top scientist. It turns out Beau-Line has horrible side effects if not used on a regular basis, it's the ultimate must have cosmetic product. Of course, she is discovered while eaves-dropping, and after a short lived chase is killed by Laurel's bodyguards. When her body washes up onto shore, the mysterious cat she tried to rescue on her windowsill reappears and coughs on her. In the process Patience is imbued with all the powers and senses of a cat, and before we know it she's jumping from roof-top to roof-top out for revenge in her S&M Catwoman suit.

Catwoman is frighteningly awful film, I use the term film loosely because this is a mess of a movie. I found my mouth hanging wide open at times due to the sheer idiocy of some of the scenarios put forth by Catwoman. Halle Berry is a good actress, she deserved her Academy Award, but she's not very good in this movie. She obviously had fun playing the part, but it just doesn't work. It's like an inside joke, the people involved are entertained, but everyone else has no idea what's going on. Halle does look very good in her Catsuit, but the novelty of it wares off as soon as you realize that you have to sit in the theater for another hour after that. Benjamin Bratt does an okay job as Patience's love interest, and the detective assigned to track down Catwoman. At times the film feels like a really lame romantic comedy, as Bratt and Berry exchange horrible written dialogue. Did they realize what they were saying? Or was it intended to be horribly written? That will be a mystery for the ages. Sharon Stone hams it up in her role as an evil former supermodel with dreams of world domination through cosmetics products. Perhaps Stone was the only one who realized what a stinker this film was going to be, and decided to have fun with the part. Lambert Wilson plays a pompous bastard so well, as we found out in the last two Matrix films, where he played The Merovingian, not much of a stretch for him here. Perhaps the only, truly good performance in the film is that of Midnight, the mysterious Egyptian Mau cat that imbues Patience with her powers. However, the cat is CGI half the time so perhaps the artists should get the credit.

If only there were some positive aspects to this film, I find myself at a complete loss when I try to think of any redeeming qualities. The frantic pace and editing of all the fight scenes in the film make them nearly impossible to watch or make sense of, you'll literally have no idea what's going on. Also, Catwoman's music is one of it's most annoying elements of the movie. Nearly every scene is punctuated with a lame rhythm and blues score, made all the more ridiculous by the constant Oooh's and Yeah's of some Mariah Carey-esque singer. The special effects would have been good 2 years ago, but they're just not believable. If you've seen Spider-man 2, you don't really notice the effects much, this is due to the seamless transition between CGI Spider-man and Tobey-Maguire-in-a-suit Spider-man. In Catwoman, the transition is anything but seamless. You can tell the instant Catwoman becomes a CGI character, Halle seems to turn into plastic version of herself and then back. The effects will really take you out of the film. You would think the director, Pitof, would have demanded more of the visual effects team considering the he himself has been the Visual Effects Supervisor on more than a dozen films.

Overall, the film was just poorly acted, written, directed and executed. With all these factors working against it, is it even worth seeing? No. Even Halle Berry in skin tight leather can't save this flick. Do yourself a favor and avoid this film, avoid it like the plague. Go see The Bourne Supremacy, I haven't seen it but I know it's a far superior film.

- Will

Monday, July 19, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY :"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it." - Voltaire

SONG OF THE DAY : The Roots - Don't Say Nuthin'

LINK OF THE DAY : Peasant Quest : The Trailer

Let grief Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.

Every so often a picture comes a long that leaves me at a loss for words.

Well Blogger has done it again. Gone and fucked around with their posting system. If the blog looks different, you'll know why.

I understand their need to incorporate new features and so forth... But they almost totally redid the system... Once again. It always seems to be right after I've just mastered their current system that they change it. WHY? It makes it more difficult for intrepid bloggers like myself; Having to re-learn everything is just a hassle(hoff). Personally I liked the system they had in place last year, when I, your humble narrator started this site. Bah, whatever. I'll just go with the flow... Just keep it like this for at least six months please Blogspot.

You know what was an interesting novel? I, Robot. By Isaac Asimov. This is classic science fiction, Asimov weaves many different stories about Robots together, with the common theme of equality and understanding. It's all very interesting stuff. The movie however is somewhat different

Inspired by the novel, apparently "Suggested by Isaac Asimov" pits a wise cracking Will Smith against thousands of creepy robotic automatons in 2035 Chicago. What can I say? It's a Will Smith summer blockbuster... It's a fun movie... But not what the book was. Oh well.

On the topic of films, I have the unenviable task of attending a press screening of Catwoman tomorrow. I'll be reviewing for Empire Movies
once again.

"Interested in seeing Catwoman on Wednesday?"

"Interested... No. Willing, yes."

Someone has to do it. It's going to be hard though. I'm the guy you heard booing the Catwoman trailer whenever it played in theatres. I've been loathing this films existence, and had no intention of ever seeing it. But here I am, going to see it tomorrow. I'll have to go in with an open, unbiased mind... Not bloody likely. Expect to see the review sometime before Friday.

In other Will news, I'm going to Las Vegas for a few days with the crew at the end of August. Flight is booked and the hotel is waiting. It shall be good times.

Vado itum Deus, Amicum.

- Will

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. - Winston Churchill

SONG OF THE DAY : The Killers - Andy, You're A Star

LINK OF THE DAY : It's just not this guys day.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.

"He knows if you've been sleeping, he knows if you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!"

What a load of crap. Santa Claus was once the tool of parents. Back in the day every Christmas song having to do with Jolly Old Saint Nick had to do with scaring children into obedience for fear of not getting presents. It's kind of ridiculous if you think about it... I mean if kids actually took the time to really think about it, things might be different.

"Now little Jimmy, no being naughty or the obese, bearded, immortal man who lives at the North Pole won't give you presents for no other reason than the fact that it's Jesus' birthday."

If it's the supposed birthday of Jesus Christ then why isn't he getting presents?
December 25th actually isn't big JC's birthday, nobody really knows when that is. But December 25th was a big time in the Roman Empire. It was the week in which the people of Rome would pay homage to Saturn, the God of Agriculture! OOOH! Watch out for him!
When Christianity started to catch on, in order to convert more people, they conveniently made Christmas (Christ's B-Day Mass I guess) take place on the same day as the big Saturn celebration. Apparently it worked.

But I digress, I was speaking of Santa Claus. I pose this question to you, if you were immortal, and lived at the North Pole(Sounds like Superman), would you really spend your time making toys for ungrateful little shits?

I for one would use my unholy army of elves for some nefarious purpose... Call it Clauskrieg. The Northern Hemisphere would be mine within a year.

Anyways, it's July and I'm talking about Christmas for some reason. We all know X-mas, as the lazy have come to abbreviate it; is just a tool of corporations. It's more a celebration of some fat hermit than some crazy prophet. Yes, I just made fun of Santa's weight problem and Jesus' well known insanity. It's kind of a pointless holiday. I like getting and giving presents... but hell the cost in depression and suicide is actually quite disturbing... more people kill themselves at Christmas than any other time of the year. All because some corporation says we have to be all happy and together on some bullshit holiday. It's a shame.

I'm not going anywhere with this, it's merely a chain of thought I felt like writing down.

Speaking of Christ. I've heard of Jews for Jesus... But Klingons for Christ?
What a world we live in.

- Will

Saturday, July 10, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected President but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power. -Arthur C. Clarke

SONG OF THE DAY : TV on the Radio - Satellite

LINK OF THE DAY : My Anchorman Review Got Published!

The little foolery that wise men have makes a great show.

I believe I would give my left nut to see this film.

Finally got a job. I'm cooking and washing dishes at a small restaurant on Queen Street. Me cooking??? Yes, I'm just as amazed as you, but there I was doing it last night... and will be again tonight.

My dad was in the hospital this week. He was recovering from some elective surgery he had.
Now, I have to pose a question... what kind of pathetic fuck steals somebody's clothes and belongings out of their hospital locker, while they're laid up in bed? Oh, I think I just answered my own question there. A pathetic, cowardly fuck. I was so pissed.

This is some quality shit right here. Mario Music on Piano : The Crack Edition.

that is all.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. - Socrates

SONG OF THE DAY : The Hives - Walk, Idiot, Walk

LINK OF THE DAY : Ebert & Roeper Reviews

O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?

ANCHORMAN : The Legend of Ron Burgundy
8/10 STARS

News Team 4 at it's finest.

In "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy", Will Ferrell stars as Ron Burgundy, a pompous news anchor at Channel 4 in 1970's San Diego. Burgundy and his Team 4 are legendary party animals and womanizers. Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), field reporter and resident man-whore. Brick Tamland (Steven Carell) weatherman and certified moron. Champ Kind (David Koechner) sports guy and filthy drunk. Channel 4 is #1 in the ratings and Team 4 are veritable kings among men in San Diego. Things run smoothly at Channel 4 thanks to the efforts of Station Manager Ed Harken (Fred Willard) who is more of a father figure to Team 4, than his own troublesome son. All is well at the station until an ambitious newswoman named Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) joins the news team, much to the chagrin of Burgundy and his male colleagues. Burgundy is more interested in pursuing a relationship with Veronica than taking her seriously as a newsperson. Corningstone quickly makes a name for herself, and is soon promoted to Co-Anchor. Ron Burgundy will not be upstaged so he and Team 4 do everything in their sexist, chauvinistic power to embarrass and humiliate Veronica both on and off the air. However, since their combined IQ's are that of a small child, it's a losing fight. Burgundy realizes that maybe he'll need more than his perfectly coiffed hair and the ability to read a teleprompter to upstage Veronica.

Anchorman has to be one of the funniest movies made in the past few years. I was laughing constantly, so hard it brought tears to my eyes several times. Elf proved a Will Ferrell movie could do well, Anchorman will cement his well deserved position as the latest successful former SNL alumni. Ferrell doesn't star as Ron Burgundy, he is Ron Burgundy in this movie. I didn't feel like I was watching Will Ferrell on the screen, I was watching Ron Burgundy. He's playing a literal amalgam of all the cheesy anchormen from yester-year. From the strange random comments Burgundy makes, to the constant ad-libbing, Ferrell is top notch. The rest of the cast is great as well. Paul Rudd, who has yet to have a breakthrough role, really impressed me with his comedy. Also, Steven Carell of Daily Show fame nearly steals the show from Ferrell and the others at times. Much like her character in the movie Christina Applegate proves once again that she's not just another pretty face, she and Will Ferrell's comedic chemistry is what really makes this film work. Main cast aside, the cameos in Anchorman are almost worth the price of admission. The entire "Frat Pack" shows up for a climactic gladitorial battle of the TV News Teams. Tim Robbins and Jack Black also make hilarious appearances.

Imagine the best SNL sketch you've ever seen - Now multiply that by 10 and you have Anchorman. For some this is a good thing, and others... Not so good. Whether you're a fan or not of SNL, you'll like this film. Anchorman is by no means a perfect film, but you'll literally be laughing too hard to care about the very few problems that show up. It has all the camp and capers of a classic Mel Brooks movie, and is just as silly. It is ridiculous at times, it is stupid at times, and confusingly random at times - but it works. It's so silly it works.

If you're in the mood for a good laugh, Anchorman is the perfect movie to see. It doesn't take itself seriously, and neither should you. The director, Adam McKay and star Will Ferrell must have had a blast writing this film, almost as much as they did making it... And it shows. Definitely worth the price of the ticket, and with out a doubt the funniest movie of the year so far.

- Will

A place to read my ramblings on Life, Love, Politics, Pop culture, Movies, Games etc. And even if you disagree... I'm still right.

Quote of the Day :

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
- Napoleon Bonaparte




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